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SF General — a top trauma center, important safety net, and major city commitment to public health — moves into an uncertain transition period

This Week's Paper

coverLife and death at SF General as everyone's hospital moves into an uncertain period, BART's new policy of rousing vagrants, MEX I AM's latin sounds hit Yerba Bunea Center, and Wolrd War I Films blow up the screen at PFA. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

OFA opens SF office, hosts debate watch party

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President Obama's political operation, Organizing For America, is opening its first San Francisco office today (Tues/12), just in time to hold a watch party for this evening's final California gubernatorial debate between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. So stop by 1406 Valencia at 6:30 for the debate, or stop by at 4 pm to watch Obama greet the crowd via video hookup.Read more »

I hope Greg Mankiw stops working

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The eminent and distinguished N. Gregory Mankiw, a professor of economics at Harvard and former White House aide (under GW Bush) presented one of the most convoluted and misleading antitax arguments in the history of the dismal science Oct. 10. His New York Times piece argues that the effective tax rate on his marginal income is 90 percent, and because of that, if the Bush tax cuts on the rich expire, he isn't likely to write any more articles.Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Tara, O'Farrell and Fillmore

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Janet Reilly wants a centrist mayor. Ick.

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Janet Reilly's the overwhelming frontrunner in District 2, and has the support of just about everyone in the Democratic Party establishment, including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Mayor Gavin Newsom. But she seems to be nervous that someone might suggest she would support a progressive (like, Gasp! Aaron Peskin) for mayor if Newsom leaves the city for Sacramento and the Lt. Guv's office.Read more »

Scott Wiener's TIC letter

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EDITORS NOTE: Includes corrections, noted at the bottom of the post.

Scott Wiener, candidate for district 8 supervisor, is sending out a letter to people who own tenancy-in-common buildings, telling them he supports the rights of TIC owners to convert their properties to condos and seeking their support.

And he's very nervous about discussing it.Read more »

Whiskeyfest whispers

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What words could be more beautiful to hear upon entrance into the skyscraper-y, shiny den of downtown's Marriot Marquis? From the mouth of a woman in a blazer and matching knee-length skirt: “It smells like a frat house on a Saturday morning!” Ah, last Friday's Whiskeyfest, you came to conquer my liver, but you left after conquering my heart.

To the tune of 250 whiskies, no less! Once ensconced in the hotel's basement ballroom and properly attired with our souvenir tote and tasting glass, naught could be seen but opportunities to drink myself into an unproductive Saturday of cowering from the Blue Angels. Row upon row of the finest whiskies – the even finer ones available only for the special VIP tasting hour, whose $150 price tag may have seemed a little step were one not aware of the general admission's $110 bar tab. Read more »

Lacy's face disfigured on Dem/Labor doorhanger

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With only three weeks to go until the election. the dirty campaign tricks get stickier.

Top of the list of dirty tricks this week is the person(s) who pasted “Vote Malia Cohen” stickers atop the image of D10 candidate Dewitt Lacy on door hangers that the SF Democratic Party and the SF Labor Council produced  jointly for the November 2010 election. According to Lacy supporters, the offending stickers cropped up primarily on door hangers distributed on Potrero Hill, where Lacy lives, works and has a strong following. Read more »

SFBG Radio: Explaining the state props

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Today we talk through all the state propositions -- the good, the bad and the truly evil. Listen to the conversation, and pick up some advice on how you might want to vote, after the jump. Read more »

Labor's promise

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Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 250 of his columns.


The AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions know what they must do to grow and strengthen the labor movement for the benefit of all Americans. They must recruit and train millions of young workers, particularly young women and minority workers.  It is they who will join with others to shape our future.

Union organizers are already focusing clearly on reaching out to young would-be members who are often skeptical of union promises to help them win, not only better pay and working conditions, but also a meaningful voice in community affairs. Read more »

Appetite: 3 recent food books pique our palates

Dive into Twain's Feast, Hungry Town, and the Sunset Cookbook

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These three books (one factual journey, one memoir, one cookbook) have two things in common: they're all new this year and centered around food. Read more »

SFBG Radio: The market's up, but jobs are down

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So if the unemployment rate keeps going up, and the recession is in full swing, why is the stock market doing so well -- and what does that say about American politics? Check out out after the jump. Read more »

A trio of great Hispanic leaders

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Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 250 of his columns.

It's Hispanic Heritage Month, an excellent time to remember three of the most important Hispanic labor leaders in U.S. history. All three were engaged in the much needed and very tough job of organizing and improving the generally poor conditions of the nation's largely Latino farm labor force.

Cesar Chavez, of course, is one of the farm worker leaders we should particularly honor. Another is Dolores Huerta, who joined Chavez in founding the United Farm Workers union – and who, in fact, is still organizing and otherwise helping Latino workers, particularly women.

The third leader who's especially deserving of honor is the lesser known but no less important t pioneer farm labor organizer, Ernesto Galarza. Despite his important work, Galarza has been largely forgotten – though certainly not by me.  He's been dead now for a quarter-century, but I recall him well from my days as a reporter covering farm labor: Read more »

Civil Sidewalks, Lewis Lapham, and the struggle for the soul of cities

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Cities often get vilified as the cauldrons of all that’s wrong in the world – greed, vice, pollution, and all manner of social ills – but they are also the incubators of ideas that are humankind’s last best shot at solving the social and environmental problems that threaten our long-term stability and prosperity. So ruminating on the indispensable role of cities, as Lapham’s Quarterly does with its fall issue, is more than just an academic exercise or interesting read.Read more »

Long-winded debate about the America’s Cup

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The prospect of San Francisco turning into an international enclave for billionaires and their custom-built super yachts in 2013 is either electrifying or nauseating, depending on one’s perspective. If San Francisco is selected as the venue for the 34th America’s Cup, the city’s downtown would be transformed into the “America’s Cup Village” during the prestigious match, and placed at the center of an international media spectacle. Read more »

Legalization proponents appeal to Reason

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The Bay Area's medical marijuana community may be divided over the legalization measure Prop. 19, but Reason's Brian Doherty has penned an excellent analysis of the current campaign, why it will probably succeed, and how that will likely lead to a nationwide normalization of pot use rather than the federal crackdown and general sky falling that many critics of the measure predict.